November 27, 2014

First Semester of College

It has been quite some time since I last posted on here, but I have been very busy in school and now as my classes are drawing to an end I have more free time and can publish more content.

Since my last post I have attended three months of school and even though this is a short period of time the transition from high school to college has been quite drastic. Academics have become much more challenging. Even though I am only taking four classes, it is still quite difficult to keep up with the course work and perform well on exams. Sailing while in school adds another level of difficulty to this task and now my time management and efficiency skills are really being put to the test. This first semester has been physically exhausting as well. After attending classes during the day, I spent my afternoons practicing as a member of the BU sailing team on the Charles River. Sailing took up the majority of my free time and on the weekends we were traveling to regattas around New England. Even though this schedule led to several late nights of studying or returning from regattas, this past semester has been very rewarding and I have created priceless memories with the new friends I have made at school.

August 30, 2014

The Beginning

As the summer has drawn to a close, big changes have taken place in my life. I have now packed up the catamarans, said goodbye to my friends back home, and moved on to college at Boston University. This change will also bring several new opportunities.

I left Florida for Boston a week before my classes began in order to do some pre-season practicing with the BU Sailing Team, aka the BUDS. During this week we've spent several days on the water and had the opportunity to sail in both open water conditions in Marblehead, MA as well as in protected waters at our home venue of the Charles River. I have learned a lot of new skills and refined some older ones in this short period of time; this is an indicator of how much our team as a whole will progress throughout the year. Our first regatta is in two weeks after the beginning of class.

As a new student to BU and a freshman on the sailing team, I was initially quite intimidated by what I thought were the expectations of the upperclassmen. However, the BUDS have approached all the new freshmen with open arms and have really made us feel at home at BU. This team is going to make sailing at BU one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

July 24, 2014

2014 ISAF Youth Worlds

This past week I took advantage of a special opportunity to travel abroad. I went to Tavira, Portugal in order to represent the US Sailing Team at the 2014 ISAF Youth World Championship. This is the same regatta that I attended as a US representative last year and this year's edition of the regatta surpassed last year's with even more learning, intense competition, and fun both on and off the water. This trip was the first time I traveled internationally without my family and I learned how to navigate through foreign and domestic customs as well as experienced a diverse culture where the primary language was not English, but Portuguese. After spending 7 days in a row on the water, however, I am happy to have returned home safely and to share my experiences from this event.

July 4, 2014

2014 F16 World Championship

I just recently arrived back home after spending the past week traveling to and sailing in Newport, RI. This week was full of many adventures, experiences, and memories, all of which taught me valuable life lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Newport and racing in the F16 Worlds; however, after spending a week away from home living with several other sailors and approximately 50 hours towing a trailer I am glad to finally be home and back on my regular training schedule.

June 17, 2014

Summer Shenanigans

High school has finally ended! I have graduated from Southeast High School and am patiently waiting for early July to find out if I received my International Baccalaureate diploma. Now that I am officially on summer break I have had a considerably larger amount of free time which has been spent planning my academic courses for next year at Boston University as well as preparing for the F16 World Championship which will be taking place next week in Newport, RI.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend my Boston University freshmen orientation session. After being forced to spend an additional night in Charlotte, NC due to a cancelled fight and finally arriving in Boston a day later than I had planned, I managed to arrive at my orientation activities on time. My three days were spent getting familiar with the city and transportation systems around the school, understanding the course curriculum, registering for class times, and finally meeting other freshmen students. When I departed from Boston on Friday I left having developed a strong passion and excitement for the school as well as several new friendships that will make my college experience quite memorable.

In preparation for the F16 Worlds I have been fine tuning and upgrading my boat with several smaller tweaks and adjustments. These upgrades include a skipper trapeze system that is run through the hull rather than across the deck, carbon rod rigging rather than the traditional stainless steel wire, and other smaller additions spread around the platform. These changes to the standard boat design were implemented to reduce weight, minimize the possibility of binding and catching while sailing, and increase the performance capabilities of the boat. As the departure date for Newport quickly approaches, I will be loading up the trailer and will begin driving with another Sarasota team comprised of two siblings, Sophia and Nico Schultz. We're all very excited to put our skills to the test against some of the top F16 teams at the Worlds!

May 8, 2014

Academic Priorities

This is a very busy time of year for a student. As a senior in the International Baccalaureate program, I am currently in the midst of my final exams. These tests are unique in that they are all given on the exact same date to IB students around the world. My scores on these tests will determine several things, including which college credits I receive and whether or not I earn my IB diploma. After working through this program for a total of four years I am happy to say it was worth all the extra time spent studying, completing homework assignments, and performing labs. Now that my time in high school is near a conclusion, I am beginning to reflect upon the memories and friends I have made over the years. It is very interesting to see that the most memorable moments were when I was sailing in different regattas. The next few weeks will primarily be spent studying for these exams and sailing when I have the free time. Southeast High School's graduation will be held on May 31st and I am looking forward to walking along that stage and moving on to the next chapter of my life at Boston University.

April 7, 2014

Always Sailing Fast at Sailfest

With diverse wind conditions, warm water, and sunny weather, the Sarasota Sailfest is always a great regatta that provides racing opportunities in several classes ranging from the Optimist Dinghy to the newly adopted multihull class. This year's event was as successful as it has been in the past and we were able to get 6 races completed over the course of two days. We were postponed on shore Saturday until noon when the classic Sarasota sea-breeze began to build. This was to my advantage as my crew, Sam Armington, had to take a school exam in the morning and luckily we did not miss any races. Saturday's wind conditions were light and variable, shifting direction drastically several times during racing. We pushed to get four races off and ended up sailing late into the day, coming to shore at about 5:30 pm. On Sunday the breeze filled in much earlier and with substantially more velocity. There was a decent amount of carnage on the multihull course during both of Sunday's races, but thankfully there were no major injuries or damage to equipment. After two long days of racing in both light and heavy wind conditions with varying sea states, Sam and I were able to win all six races of the regatta and capture first place.

March 30, 2014

Boston University!

I am very excited to say that I am planning on attending Boston University next year! I have been accepted into the College of Engineering and am very interested in studying aerospace, materials, or mechanical engineering. I'm looking forward to spending my next four years studying and sailing at the collegiate level in the bustling city of Boston.

March 20, 2014

2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier

My teammate Nico Schultz and I have been officially named to the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team and will be sailing in this event in Tavira, Portugal. This summer Nico and I will travel to Europe, meet up with ten other sailors that will also be representing Team USA, and compete in the most prestigious youth sailing event in the world. Each country that is able to support a team sends sailors to race in different boats including the Laser, I420, 29er, RS:X, and SL16. This will be my second year at the event and I will bring experience as well as a matured perspective that will hopefully be of benefit to all members of Team USA.

March 16, 2014

Back to Miami Again

It has been a few weeks since my last post but I have been very busy with my sailing and scholastic activities! I spent a large portion of last week in Miami sailing on the Olympic class Nacra 17. This boat has curved centerboards, a carbon mast, and other features from fast cats such as the F16 and F18. I also had the opportunity to train against other American and international sailors with Olympic ambitions which proved highly beneficial both on the water and in our daily debriefs after sailing. The conditions in the Atlantic Ocean were excellent all week with a strong onshore breeze the first two days of training shifting to a stronger offshore breeze during the final day of training. The combination of deep blue water and strong gusty wind created rough conditions and big waves that posed a challenge for even the most experienced sailors. In addition to training among other Nacra 17s, I was able to sail around a few TP52s that were heading to their race course. Unfortunately, these boats were much faster than our small catamarans in the ocean's rough conditions and passed us very easily. By the end of the week I had improved upon several of my boathandling, tactical, and communication skills as well as formulated a training and competition schedule for the upcoming months. Now that I am back on my regular school and sailing schedule I will continue to update this blog at more regular intervals.